from near Placerville, CA
The words "1972 & earlier cars only" are just an excuse for tunnel vision. Grow with the sport!
1999 Plymouth Prowler
- Engine: 3.5L SOHC all-aluminum V6, 253hp
- Transmission: 4-spd selectshift auto transaxle
- Suspension: dbl-a wishbones, Koni shocks, IRS rear
- Brakes: composite disks
- Tires: 225/45/17's front, 295/40/20's on rear
- Upholstery: leather
- Seats: leather
- Body Mods: front stainless nose guard
- Paint: body-colored bumpers, 11 colors on the flames!
- Wheels: chromed aluminum, 8" front, 10" rear
- Other: polished stainless overlays on front a-arms
Audio & Electronics
- Security: yes.
- Battery: spiral-wound, like an Optima, but cheaper
This 1999 Prowler is featured on the 2008-2009 Sem Paint National Poster. It has a 3.5L SOHC V6. The most aluminum-intensive production car ever produced in America (95% of the body, plus the chassis, engine, suspension & seats are aluminum, the dash is magnesium). As a result, the car only weighs 2835 lbs. Only about 9700 Prowlers were ever produced (1997-2001) for sale. The last 300 were sold as 2002 Chryslers after Plymouth’s demise. In 1997, each dealer got 1 car for the year. Dealer surcharges generally ranged from $5,000-$15,000 due to the rarity, but I know of one case where the dealer got $130,000 for a car (SoCal, natch). This Prowler was hand-built on Dodge’s Viper assembly line (a few were built in Canada). The smooth welds were definitely NOT done by any robots, but by the best “Special Vehicle Team” mechanics and artisans that Chrysler employed. MSRP for this 1999 car was $44,000, sans surcharges.
History of this Vehicle
A Wisconsin Plymouth dealer kept two of these cars as a personal investment. He finally sold this one to my Dad, and I got him to part with it. It had been stored so long sans driving that the engine froze, so I had to put a new engine in it at 13,000 miles (it’s at 18,000 miles total now).
Originally a Chrysler-sponsored student design project by a young student (Chip Foose) at Pasadena Art Center, Chrysler modified the design from mid- to front-engined, and tried to keep it as a modernized replica of a ‘34 Ford hot rod. I hired Dennis Price (Chico, CA) to do the flame job on the car & engine.
Plans for this Vehicle
I’ve been showing it at a few events, getting lots of trophies, but my haul has really increased since flaming the engine. I’d like to do some more mods to the engine, but the VERY limited radiator air-intake area on the front of the car sets limitations. I could perhaps put an STS turbo on, but engine-bay heat could still be an issue, and the car is so low that the turbo/s would have to mount on the back end (the Prowler’s muffler is very small). The engine-bay is REALLY tight inside! I DON’T want to louver the entire hood!
Sponsors & Special Thanks
As with most of us, a very supporting wife is necessary to accompany me to shows & cruises (it was 104 degrees at one of them…try detailing a black car, the detailing spray instantly evaporates). Thanks, Becky, for supporting my expensive hobby. And thanks to my Dad, Chuck, a former dry lakes racer, for getting me into quarter midget racing as a VERY young kid. And finally, thanks to my youngest son, Parker, for graduating from Wyotech. I’ll get some help in the future!